The Confidence Conundrum – why do talented athletes struggle with confidence?

Despite putting in the hard work and having the talent, it’s common for athletes like you to get stuck in The Confidence Conundrum.

There are three main explanations:

  1. Major Adversity
    You are a talented athlete, but you can be sucked into the conundrum when you are hit with significant adversity. This can be experiencing a bad coach, a new team with less playing time, a performance slump, or a major setback (I.e., getting cut, sent down, or injured). You have probably experienced lots of success throughout your athletic career, but like every athlete, you will eventually face major adversity and if you don’t have the right mindset this adversity will derail your confidence!
  2. The Yo-Yo Effect
    You are like most athletes if you tie your self-confidence to getting the approval of others and achieving results. The problem with this is as your performance goes up and down, so does your confidence – just like a yo-yo. Plus your self-image is dependent on how others view you instead of your actual abilities.
  3. Own Worst Critic
    Being hard on yourself is necessary for growth and it has helped you get to your current abilities. The problem arises when you are TOO hard on yourself and you are your own worst critic. The key to consistent confidence is having an accurate self-image. As long as you continue to be too hard on yourself then you will stay in The Confidence Conundrum.

The bottom line is if your mind is full of self-doubt and you are playing afraid to make mistakes, then you are in The Confidence Conundrum.

As a result, you play too safe, hesitate, and significantly underperform.

Let’s go back to the Race Car example: imagine having a great car but a driver who doubts their ability to pass opponents, is hesitant around corners, and is scared to attack the course – talk about NOT getting the most out of your car – what a waste!

The good news is you don’t have to stay stuck in The Confidence Conundrum.

Take Camaryn Baber for example, he is a really good hockey player, but he wasn’t getting much playing time in the OHL – he was on a great team and the coach had him on the fourth line.

He was in a Classic Confidence Conundrum Trifecta – frustrated with his situation (major adversity), his confidence was down (yo-yo effect), and he was beating himself up over his mistakes and lack of performance (own worst critic).

But after working on his mindset he was able to break out of the conundrum:
I am so much more confident. I hold the puck more. I do what I can in the shifts I get, and I am more positive about hockey overall. I want to go to the rink and get better even more now.”

He was back to playing like himself and finished the season with 19 points in his last 26 games. Which is a 386% improvement in points per game!

If you find yourself getting stuck in The Confidence Conundrum and are not getting the most out of your abilities, then you will really benefit from our programs – just like Camaryn!

ATHLETES: get started by clicking the link below and applying for your Free Intro Session:

Book Your Free 1-on-1 Intro Session

COACHES: learn how to help your players get into the ZONE by joining the Mental Toughness Playbook:

Mental Toughness Playbook for Coaches